One of the highlights of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park is the town of Ingonish.  Ingonish may be small but there are many things to do in every season.

The most popular attraction in the village is the long, sandy beach of Ingonish Beach.  In the summer months, hundreds of people gather on the beach to swim and spend the day relaxing in the sun.  A freshwater lake suitable for swimming in located nearby and a walking trail surrounds that entire lake.

Ingonish is home to a number of other beaches including Black Brook and North Bay Beach.  There is a also a small beach located at The Point which is also a great place to watch the spectacular sunsets that take place on clear evenings.  Hiking is a popular activity in Ingonish and many of Cape Breton’s finest trails are located in the area.  Broad Cove Mountain, Franey, Middle Head, Squeaker’s Hole and Warren Lake are just a few of the trails in Ingonish.

Mary Anne Falls is located deep in the forest above Broad Cove Mountain and is a great place to spend an afternoon.  Two waterfalls are situated one on top of the other and the pools beneath both falls are suitable for swimming.

When it comes to accommodations and restaurants in Ingonish, there is no shortage of either.  The Keltic Lodge and Glenghorm Resorts are popular with visitors looking for more luxurious accommodations but there are smaller motels and cabins available along the stretch of road that passes through the village.  Coastal and Mainstreet are two of the more popular restaurants in Ingonish and each has a unique menu that includes local favorites.  There is also a takeout at Ingonish beach during the summer months.

In winter, the cold and snowy conditions don’t keep people indoors for long.  Snowmobiling, ice skating, downhill skiing at Ski Cape Smokey, cross country skiing and snowshoeing are just some of the exciting activities one can participate during the colder months.

Andrea MacEachern is a freelance travel writer and amateur photographer living in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

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